Interview: Earthbound Beer Chats About What’s Next For the Brewery
Earthbound Beer, located at 2710 Cherokee Street, is gearing up for another space, which will be a taproom and brew house at 2724 Cherokee. For the neophytes and uninitiated, Earthbound serves, to my mind, the best beer in St. Louis. Their flagship operation features great brews on tap—try the Bruce Lee Brown or the Tax Evader or the Irish Red— and settle back among the reclaimed wood tables and chairs. Stare at the maps upon the exposed brick walls, scan the globes above the bar and dream of trips around this pleasant planet. Don’t be a jerk when you drink. That’s Earthbound’s only injunction, and a damned good rule of thumb anywhere you go. Let’s call it a universal rule for proper behavior.
Earthbound got its start when Stewart Harding approached Jeff Siddons two years ago, having in mind an “an idea for a small brewery that would work in a larger city area.” Both Jeff and Stewart hail from Oklahoma, and they were actually neighbors in college. Stewart came to St. Louis to study law, fell in love with the city and decided to stay put. “And then, out of law school, I ran an environmental non-profit where Rebecca Schranz was an intern.” In the meantime, Jeff, who’d visited our fair city several times, decided to make the move here. It was as if some sort of fate brought the three together.
According to Schranz, the current space “was originally a carriage-way that horses pulled through to load and distribute beer for the Cherokee Brewing Company which faded in the 1890s.” Earthbound keeps tradition and exploration at the forefront of their minds, and the new space will be an exploration not only in beer, but in food as well: “We don’t talk much about the food yet, but we’re approaching it the same way we do the beer,” Stewart says. “It’s going to be interesting and small and complex plates. We’ll have Bulgogi hotdogs with slow-cooked brisket and kimchi. We’ll also have a St. Louis dog, which is hotdogs cooked like burnt ends with provel cheese and Maull’s barbecue sauce.”
The name “Earthbound” comes from a video game that Stewart and Jeff played on Super Nintendo. I ask the trio if “Earthbound” is code for “Are you a nerd?” but according to Jeff, a good deal of nerds and non-nerds alike recognize the name: “They often cautiously ask, but you can tell if they recognize it or not.” Not to mention that the name Earthbound can also signify the caves beneath the new space into which they’re moving.
Keeping true to the traditions—and innovations that come with the territory—Earthbound isn’t content just to keep static. Come spring/summer, the trio of Schranz, Siddons and Harding will see to it that the operations in the new space will be close to ready, if not already humming. For now, St. Louis waits for Earthbound’s latest developments with excitement. The original space is still serving great beer, playing wonderful music and inviting all types into their brewery. As for the new operation, we can’t wait to say, “Welcome home again.”